Communications Reports

Reports from CoBank Knowledge Exchange focusing on the communications industry.

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The Year Ahead: Forces That Will Shape the U.S. Rural Economy in 2022
December 2021

As we enter the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, the virus is still in control of the economy.

Major Forces Will Shape the Communications Industry for Years to Come
November 2021

The communications industry is expected to evolve significantly over the next several years as our work and lives grow increasingly digitized.

Is Now the Time for Smaller Cable Operators to Enter the Wireless Market?
August 2021

New advancements in wireless technologies and the flood of newly available spectrum are enabling national wireless operators to enter the home broadband market with a fixed wireless access solution.

Federal Funds, Satellite Rivals Could Expedite Rural 5G Plans
May 2021

The current state of 5G, when rural America can expect true high-speed 5G, and the opportunities that exist for rural operators as 5G is deployed.

Broadband Operators Well Positioned to Capitalize on Accelerated Connected TV Growth
March 2021

With millions of bored consumers waiting out the pandemic at home this past year, 2020 was a tipping point for connected TV on-demand video streaming services, which drove an acceleration in cable cord cutting.

RDOF Broadband Results Raise Concerns About Execution, Financial Risk
January 2021

The FCC’s recently-released results for the first round of the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund left many questioning how the commission decided to allocate the funds.

Funding Uncertainties Wreak Havoc for Rural Communications at the Worst Time Possible
November 2020

As the U.S. and China continue to battle over trade, technology, and intellectual property rights, those living in rural America are getting caught in the middle.

Rural Broadband Valuations Remain High as Investors Move Down Market for New Opportunities
September 2020

The abrupt shift in 2020 to working from home and remote learning has significantly increased high-speed data subscriptions, representing a new catalyst for the broadband market.

What the CBRS Spectrum Auction Results Mean for Rural Telecom
September 2020

The FCC recently concluded its CBRS spectrum auction and as expected, there was a wide range of winning bidders.

New Networks and Spectrum to Fuel Tower Industry Growth
August 2020

T-Mobile’s efforts to expand rural coverage should be a tailwind for rural tower operators as it’s likely the company will use existing towers in remote parts of the country rather than building its own.

As CBRS Auction Shapes Broadband Landscape Should Rural Operators Make a Bid?
June 2020

On July 23, 2020, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will start its highly anticipated CBRS auction for the licensed portion of the spectrum band.

LEO Satellite Broadband Expectations Need to Come Back to Earth
June 2020

Satellite-based internet has been around for several years, but for the most part it has failed to gain traction due to slow data speeds and pricey rate plans with data caps.

Rural Telecom Operators Take on Risks for Their Communities, But for How Long?
May 2020

Numerous rural operators are going above and beyond to keep their communities connected. However, in doing so, these operators are taking on increased cash flow risks.

Network Sharing Could Be a Creative Way to Bridge the Digital Divide
April 2020

The primary challenge to bridging the digital divide is cost. In many rural markets there simply aren’t enough residents to justify the capital and operating expenditures needed to run a profitable network. 

COVID-19 Pushes Rural Internet Providers to Get Creative
April 2020

Broadband operators are seeing a 20-40% increase in data traffic where a shelter in place order has been issued. This is putting undue stress on rural communication networks.

COVID-19 Highlights the "Digital Disadvantage"
March 2020

The coronavirus and the measures to prevent its spread are wreaking havoc for all Americans. But for those living in rural America, the disruption is even worse.

Sprint – T-Mobile Merger Takeaways
February 2020

The verdict is in and a federal judge has cleared the way for Sprint and T-Mobile to merge. There are three main takeaways for rural America.

Deal or No Deal: How the Sprint – T-Mobile Saga Will Impact Rural America
January 2020

As Sprint and T-Mobile forge ahead with their merger, a number of states are standing in the way citing anti-trust concerns, among other factors. 

The Year Ahead: Forces That Will Shape the US Rural Economy in 2020
December 2019

The U.S. rural economy will continue to face headwinds in 2020 and is expected to underperform relative to the economy of urban America. 

Flush with Cash and Ready to Buy, Investors Take Aim at Fiber-Rich Operators
November 2019

Mergers & acquisition activity in the telecom market has driven an explosion in cloud computing, consumers’ insatiable demand for data, and new technologies.